Pehlwaan movie review: Critics Review, Rating, Cast & Crew

PEHLWAAN (PAILWAN OR BAADSHAH PEHLWAAN) movie review is here. The sports action drama is released in 5 languages Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam.

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PEHLWAAN (PAILWAN OR BAADSHAH PEHLWAAN) movie review is here. The sports action drama is released in 5 languages Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam.

Written and directed by S. Krishna, the movie stars Kichcha Sudeep, Suniel Shetty and Aakanksha Singh in pivotal roles. Does PEHLWAAN lands its punches rightly?. Let’s find out in the PEHLWAAN Hindi movie review.

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Immediate reaction when the end credits starts rolling
PEHLWAAN is a solid reason why mass entertainers have a immortal life. A mass crowd pleasing action like PEHLWAAN is crucial for the survival of the Industry, fans and yes, the star/superstar concerned and here it’s the time for Kichcha Sudeep to please his fans and make them dance in PEHLWAAN.

Any whistle blowing moments
If you are a fan of Kichcha Sudeep then you will have opportunities coming at regular intervals. But the one where a cop says “ such people should be in police’ the déjà vu of KEMPE GOWDA – The Kannada version of SINGHAM pleasantly flashed my mind.

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The Story of PEHLWAAN
Krishna (Sudeep) is a gifted boxer, we see him as a kid fighting with people stronger than him but not for himself. A local wrestling coach Sarkar (Suniel Shetty) is touch. Sarkar dreams of mentoring an international wrestling champion. He sees that champion in Krishna and takes him under his wings. Krishna grows up to be great fighter and a true lover.

Unfortunately, his love with Rukmani (Akanksha Singh) plays a spoil sport that forces Sarkar to abandon his child/his favourite pupil and his dream. As a true disciple, Krishna honours the decision of his mentor/father who he considers as God and starts living a life without his passion – wrestling. Will Sarkar and Krishna ever meet?. Will Krishna take up wrestling again?. All these questions are answered in the movie.

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PEHLWAAN movie review
PEHLWAAN is an ambitious movie, not just a routine action sports drama. Its Indian by heart, soul, ethos and principals. Guru Shishya, Bhakth Bhagwaan, the difference between a warrior and a fighter, humanity, poverty and the desire to win all such themes are touched in this action sports drama which surely has a heart. Many may find similarity with SOORYAVANSHAM, SULTAN etc but the above issues make PEHLWAAN a sports saga with a heartfelt difference.

Director S. Krishna (GAJAKESARI, HEBBULI) both entertainers with a message have proven his arc in telling crowd pleasing stories that are colourful and over the top riding on a star vehicle. But it achieves the task in entertaining and making the audience think as well.

Those who have seen GAJAKESARI, HEBBULI know that S. Krishna is not just a filmmaker who cashes on star vehicles and churns massy crowd pleasing action sagas.

So, PEHLWAAN rides on Kichcha Sudeep’s star power and it’s an out and out massy over the top action entertainer in the first half where logic and Sudeep’s opponents go for a ‘toss ‘but its harmless. The second half is where the movie achieves its purpose and touches your heart.

Kichcha Sudeep is in full form and makes his fans happy. As the movie gets better in the second half, the star Kichcha Sudeep transforms gradually into an actor with poise and makes it convincing to the core. Kichcha Sudeep is refined talent he should accept tougher challenges in future.

Suniel Shetty as Sarkar, mentor/father/god/guru of Krishna is grace personified. The action hero of Bollywood in his Kannada debut gives a strong but controlled performance. He gets the right get up and is amazingly subtle in his role of a teacher.

Even in tense situations Suniel Shetty never goes loud but is firm enough and in one scene where he punches those goons and says, “ yeh meri poti hai’ the déjà vu of Suniel Shetty – the action man of the 90’s makes a solid flash.

Aakanksha Singh as Rukmini is surprisingly not just a flower pot. She has enough meat in her role. She looks pretty and leaves an impression.

Sushant Singh as Raja Rana Pratap Singh – the arrogant Raja is completely into the skin of the character, he may appear loud and over the top to some but that’s the demand and he nails it.

Kabir Duhan Singh as Tony Sebastian is powerfully menacing.  

Appanna as Daali Paapanna , Krishna’s sidekick is entertaining.

Other valuable contributions come from Avinash as Rukmini’s father, Sharath Lohitashwa as boxing coach, Raghu Gowda as police inspector, Sharvari as Krishna’s daughter and Suraj as young Krishna.

More realism in wrestling fight scenes could have worked wonders. The flavor, colour and feel everything confirms it to be a typical over the top action packed masala entertainer throughout even after having ambitious themes that worship Indian ethos.

Comparison with Salman Khan’s SULTAN amongst the Hindi speaking audience is inevitable.

Final words
PEHLWAAN rides on the muscles of Kichcha Sudeep’s star power but the S. Krishna directed sports action drama has a heart that beats and bleeds some valuable ethos on Guru Shishya, Bhakth Bhagwaan, the difference between a warrior and a fighter, humanity, poverty, respect, honour, integrity, grit and determination.

The good news is that this massy crowd pleasing sports action drama achieves in finding that emotional chord and while doing so pins on the above mentioned themes as well though not overwhelmingly but in a way for sure. This PEHLWAAN is not a fighter a warrior, if you are a Kichcha fan it doesn’t matter whatever I have said but if you are interested to know what I meant then have a go.

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